If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, then you probably remember the scene where Amelia Sheperd stands like a Superhero before going into the Operating Room to perform a major surgery on her mentor, Dr. Herman.  If you’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy, you can watch the scene below. 


Shonda Rhimes (producer of Grey’s Anatomy) deserves a pat on the back for including evidence based practice into this episode.  Amelia Sheperd performs a Super Hero pose to build confidence before starting a major surgery.  The Super Hero Pose, a high power pose, consists of standing tall, feet apart, chin up, and hands on your hips with elbows bent.How to Power Pose Your Way Through Life | Career Development

Power Posing was first introduced by Amy Cuddy in 2010 when she suggested that standing in “high power” produces power by increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol levels.  

While recent studies have been unable to reproduce these findings to that extent, they do suggest that power posing does in fact affect confidence and stress levels.  

  • In one study, High power posers were more likely to assume risk and gamble (86% vs 60%), whereas low power posers played it safe.  The high power posers also demonstrated increased testosterone and decreased cortisol levels, as well as reporting feeling more powerful (2.57 vs 1.83 out of 5) after posing.  
  • In another study, prior to a mock interview, participants were instructed to perform a high power pose or a low power pose.  The high power posers received significantly higher scores on hireability and performance.  They maintained their composure, projected more confidence, and presented more captivating and enthusiastic speeches.  

Body posture influences our brains and our feelings.  According to science if you pose like super Hero, you’ll think like a Super Hero, and act like a Super Hero.  So, the next time you have a big presentation or a stressful event, take 2 minutes and stand like Super Hero!  


Carney, Dana. Et al.  Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance.   Psychological Science. 2010. 21(10)1363-1368.

Cuddy, Amy. Your body language may shape who you areTED. June 2012.

Cuddy, Amy Et al.  preparatoy power posing affects nonverbal presence and job interview performance.  Harvard University. 2012. 

Written by: Ashley Rolley

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